Our 3 major projects:
Collaboration Trust Project
The SCHOOL TURNAROUND FOUNDATION has recently been appointed as an OPERATING PARTNER in the Collaboration Project.
STF has been contracted as an OPERATING PARTNER by the WCED and donors to oversee and account for school performance at 4 Collaboration Schools namely, Zwelethemba High, Langa High, Kraaifontein High and Jupiter Primary.
This COLLABORATION PROJECT is a pilot project, where the school operating partner will offer intensive support to the principal and teachers through training, additional resources, performance monitoring and regular feedback. The overall aim is to substantially improve educational outcomes for learners in these schools.
ZHS Pillars of Excellence: Our focus for 2019
Our focus is still on empowering principals to implement the 22 pillars, as well as ensuring that they develop observable indicators for the principal, heads of department, teachers and learners. We’ll later incorporate the role of the parents and the SGB within the implementation and institutionalisation of the 22 pillars of excellence.
We ensure that principals work through and understand (i) the legal basis of the pillars, (ii) what research supports this pillar, (iii) what are the steps (chronologically) that need to be followed, (iv) how the change will affect the behaviour of principals, teachers and learners, (v) what will be the impact on academic performance of learners when fully implemented and (vi) what proof (data) do we have that we had impact (tools)?
Distell Trust Education Project
The project officially commenced during September 2016 with onboarding sessions with the district officials, circuit managers and principals of the schools.
Some key aspects of this intervention recently include:
- COGNITIVE FLEXIBILITY- CLASSROOM-BASED STRATEGIES: Learning behaviours were explored – many of which hinder learning. Learners will often not even attempt an answer for fear of failing. They lack the will to explore, robbing them of potential learning experiences. This behaviour is underpinned by a fixed mind-set of a belief that “I cannot”. This belief can be changed – shifted to “I can”. Cognitive flexibility refers to the ability to shift perspective.
- “CONNECTING LEADERSHIP WITH LEARNING”: This term we are dealing with the book “Connecting Leadership with Learning.” A self-study session for principals focusing on” Engaging external environments that matter for learning”. These external factors include engaging the community structures; visiting community groups and securing resources from outside the school environment thereby creating opportunities for learning independently.
In these sessions we tried to get away from the concept of “talk and chalk” teaching to an emphasis on the ‘learning’ aspect.
- TWENTY LEVELS OF ANALYSIS: At the last meeting of STF with the Principals and SMTs we recommended that the principals do a deeper analysis of their term results. We workshopped them on the 20 levels of analysis which can give them a deeper understanding of learner performance. These levels of analysis enable the educators to move away from a mere collection of data towards a more in-depth analysis where every question is evaluated against individual learner outcomes.
- PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: It is a well-known fact that, once teachers receive their diplomas of degrees, their development grinds to an end. STF recognises this vacuum and has embarked on Professional Development sessions to empower our teachers to ‘grow’ in their development – trying new approaches; developing strategies to enhance learning and teaching; classroom techniques; dealing with under- performing and ‘gifted’ and talented learners; etc. To this end regular sessions with teachers have been organised in order to negate the influence which ‘stagnation’ has on the teaching and learning processes in the classrooms.
- THE FOUNDATION PHASE READING/ MATHS PROJECTS: These projects were initiated out of the desperate need to improve Reading and Maths in our schools. At present a raft of learners reach the end of the Foundation Phase without being able to read and/or read with comprehension. In the same way our learners are unable to grasp mathematical concepts and have no skills mastery ‘tools’. The change agent, Mr Vaughan Kariem, Dr Gallie and Dr Cranfield, came to the conclusion that the literacy and numeracy problems needed to be solved at Foundation Phase level. Planning of the alternative methodology started in the second term and implementation has just started this term. All the Distell schools have bought into the project and STF will monitor progress and adapt the programme, if deemed necessary.
Somerset West Education Project
This project is geared towards turning around 6 schools in the Somerset West/Strand area. The schools are Khanyolwethu, Gordon, Simunyene, Rusthof, Strand and Nomzamo secondary schools.
TWENTY LEVELS OF ANALYSIS: At the last meeting of STF with the Principals and SMTs we recommended that the principals do a deeper analysis of their term results. We workshopped them on the 20 levels of analysis which can give them a deeper understanding of learner performance. These levels of analysis enable the educators to move away from a mere collection of data towards a more in-depth analysis where every question is evaluated against individual learner outcomes.
The levels are divided into the six areas, namely:
- individual learner focus
- top 20 learners,
- bottom 20 learners,
- middle learners,
- the ontology of the subjects, and ..
- risk learners and the appropriate interventions.
In this process, no learner is hidden behind ‘averages’, but rather the performance of every learner is highlighted within the context of the subject and grade performance, and it gives every learner the indication of where they fit in, and what they need to do to improve their performance if they want to be part of the top achievers in their class.